Some would say that selecting a barrel of bourbon is all fun. It is a very enjoyable experience. Going to a barrel warehouse with a master distiller to thief a barrel is a true sensory experience. Even sitting with a group with samples pulled from barrels from a distillery too far away to drive, is a great way to learn about what styles each barrel represents. Not all barrel samples are a taste treat. Finding a barrel that sings is a wonderful way to pick a barrel. And thus, the challenge is finding the barrel that we feel represents our “house” style and is atypical when compared to the commercial versions selected by the master distillers.
Westport Whiskey & Wine’s “house” style relies on great aromatics, from fruit, cream, vanilla and wood spices. The flavor is rich, lush and not astringent. It may be robust and warm, but never harsh. When splashed the flavors should open-up all the more. We believe that the selections below truly represent our house style, and great values, too.
CURRENT SELECTIONS (05.06.21)
Rolling Fork, 8yr Foursquare Rum, Finished 10 months in a Weller Barrel, Single Barrel, WW&W Selection, 103.6 proof, 750ml, $86.99
This was distilled in Barbados by the Foursquare Rum Distillery. The aroma is filled with baking spices and rum soaked raisins. It enters sweet with a rich round mouthfeel and tons of vanilla. There is a great flavor of toasted oak that elevates the fruit and spice. The finish is sweet, long with a bite of pepper. It is something to savor.
El Tesoro, Reposado Tequila, Single BarrelB051-1272, WW&W Selection, 91.8 proof, 750ml, $54.99
Our First single barrel tequila! Aromas of sweet agave, laced with cinnamon and vanilla, as one might expect from tequila rested for 9 months in a bourbon barrel. The entry taste is surprisingly sweet, with the vanilla flavor enveloping the full-bodied texture. It is complex, yet nicely balanced between the sweet and spicy flavor. The finish is long, beautiful and peppery.
Maker’s Mark Private Selection, WW&W, 1st Mendiant, 112 proof, 750ml, $74.99
This Maker’s Mark Private Selection was one of the first, if not the first outside the distillery to utilize the new Roasted French Mendiant stave. This new stave replaced the Mocha stave and it is different as it adds more of a spicy chocolate element to the whisky. We found that it played nicely with the P2 and Cu staves to yield a bourbon with a great red fruit, almost pie crust aroma. It was big, sweet upon entry, the mouthfeel was rich and viscous with a long, spicy, almost peppery finish. And with a drop of water, the flavors explode. This is a Yummy, first effort.
WhistlePig, Single Barrel Rye #120021, WW&W Selection, 10yr, 116.9 proof, 750ml, $91.99
One of our favorite things about finding a great barrel of WhistlePig is you know it as soon as you nose it. This is full of red fruit, toasted oak and spicy. The entry is sweet & creamy that blossoms into a full-flavored vanilla, spicy, complex satisfying glass of whiskey. The finish is memorable, slightly tannic and peppery, yet yummy!
New Riff, Single Barrel Bourbon #16-2003, WW&W Selection, 106.2 proof, 750ml, $49.99
Selected on March 10, 2021. This was an OMG selection, almost purchased 2 barrels, but this was the one that had to come home. The aroma was lemongrass (I have never used this in a description, but it is what hit me first) laced with spicy herbal character and a hint of mint. The entry was spicy green with a peppery, woody, warm, round and ultimately tasty mouthfeel. Best summed up as Rye Toast with orange marmalade!
Bulleit, Bourbon, Single Barrel # 1-B3-0595, WW&W Selection, 750ml, $59.99
This is their high rye, 36%, mashbill from Bulleit. The aroma is complex with layers of brown sugar and cinnamon with an apricot undertone. It was sweet and spicy on entry, yielding to an oily rich mouthfeel. The finish was warm, spicy and long lasting. Yummy!
Makers Mark Private Selection, Derby City Bourbon Foundation, 108.2 proof, 750ml, $74.99
This Maker’s Mark Private Selection was one of the final barrels to use the now discontinued Roasted French Mocha stave, whose name is a good indicator of the luscious profile it imparts. This wheated bourbon clocks in at a bold but approachable 108.2 proof. For the real bourbon nerds, the stave profile for this one is P2-0, Cu-2, 46-3, Mo-4, So-1.
ALL proceeds from the sale of this bourbon to Derby City Bourbon Foundation’s Families in Distress Fund. ONLY 10 BOTTLES REMAIN!
Peerless, Single Barrel, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, WWW Selection, 109.9 proof, 750ml $96.99
Toffee and brown sugar dominate the aromas on this lovely rye. It is sweet at first, then the spicy, toasted flavors start to develop. It is a complex whiskey that lingers long and spicy with a hint of pepper.
Redemption, High Rye Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel Select #20-005, 105 proof, 750ml, $42.99
At 36% rye, this selection is truly a High Rye Bourbon. It is non-chill filtered. We tasted it proofed down to its final 105 proof. It took a bit for the aromas to show its fruit, hints of apricot laced with toasted barrel. The taste was creamy, fruit, viscous, oily with loads of spice, toast and it finishes very nice, balanced and warm.
Starlight Distillery, Single Barrel #16-300 Bourbon, WW&W Selection, 118.2 proof, $47.99
This is four grain bourbon: 53 C, 7 W, 20 R, 20 MB. It is a complex and mouth-filling bourbon. Aromas of dark chocolate and vanilla with a hint of cotton candy, says that you’re in for a treat. And the flavor does not disappoint, it is a bit smoky and sweet upon entry, there is a nice oily texture and great mouthfeel, then it starts to layer, with a leathery, spiciness that lingers long and warm. A great fall & winter whiskey.
Pinhook Tiz Rye Time, WW&W Single Barrel, $63.99
Put into the barrel on September 15, 2015. This 4yr old plus rye has a grainy, rye aroma, lean and spicy. Frankly, it was YUMMY on entry with a nice balance. The finish was lovely and long.
Selected and greatly anticipated:
Woodford Reserve Personal Selection Bourbon
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon
Elijah Craig Bourbon
George Remus Bourbon
Weller Full Proof Bourbon
Knob Creek Bourbon
MB Rolland Dark Fire Bourbon
Buzzard’s Roost Rye
Yellowstone 102 & 115 Bourbons
Limestone Branch Malted Rye
Bluegrass Distillers Bourbon
Knob Creek Bourbon